Recently during a conversation I was corrected by one of the clients when I used the word 'firm' to refer to his...firm/organization/company which is basically an international bank.

The sentence was : " has mr. X left the firm?"

He corrected me : " Organization."

until now I was using these words interchangeably... can somebody put some light on the differences between the two and their usage.

4 Answers 4


Not all organizations are firms. For example a book-lovers' club is an organization but not a firm. "Firm" is just a synonym for "company"--a business enterprise. So you were right to call his bank a firm. He was also right to call it an organization, but was wrong to think that his organization wasn't a firm. But the two terms aren't interchangeable, as you believed.

  • The correction was probably due to the association of "firms" with legal firms. In the US we rarely refer to banks as "firms".
    – MrHen
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 19:43

An organization is much wider term. It could refer to business enterprise as well as to non-business, such as a charity, a social club among others. It could also be governmental versus the NGO's. Finally, a business entity -one type of organizations as referred above- could be a company or a firm. From my career life and experience, a firm is referred to professional bureaus offering special type of services, such as legal consultancy, accounting & audit services, management & financial advisory etc.


Firm; (is related to the partnership)sole proprietorship. Organization "(related to the non profit organization and it is for large scale


A firm makes up an organization A firm is said to b an inter related part of an organization that works hand in hand to achieve the goal of d organization (Goal of an organization is profit making).

  • 2
    You need to edit your post to correct typos--and also, ELU wants answers that show definitions and their source and explain why this answers the poster's question.
    – Xanne
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 7:13

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